Jan. 31, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tony Dungy of NBC sports appears in a press meet and greet at the Motorola Media Center at the JW Marriott. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions and Tony Dungy

As soon as the Detroit Lions head coaching job opened up the pie-in-the-sky candidates started flowing from fans. Jon Gruden. Bill Cowher. Tony Dungy.

Gruden and Cowher have said they do not have interest in any coaching jobs this season, but while Dungy has also indicated that he will not return to the sidelines, he did at least indulge Lions fans a bit.

Speaking today on the Dan Patrick Show, Dungy said that if he were to take one of the current open head coaching positions, it would be the Lions. Via MLive:

I will tell you this, I think the best job out there is the Detroit Lions. That’s the job I would want.

At this point there are probably some fans out there who think the Lions should go hard after him anyway and throw a bunch of money at him. To which I ask, what about Tony Dungy suggest he cares about the money?

And remember, if Dungy wanted to continue coaching, he could have with the Indianapolis Colts. He is only “available” because he didn’t want to coach anymore. He has plenty of other interests and is able to stay close to the game in his role with NBC. Dungy isn’t some former coach likely to get the itch to give it another go because he is bored sitting at home.

Dungy doesn’t have interest but someone he highly recommends does: Jim Caldwell, who is reportedly interviewing with the Lions today. He was named Dungy’s successor-in-waiting while with the Colts then guided them to a pair of division titles and a Super Bowl appearance in his three years as head coach.

I don’t get the sense that Caldwell is much of a preferred candidate with fans, but if you had desires of Dungy, his recommendation should carry a lot of weight.

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